Jan 5, 2013, 10:07 PM EDT
James Harden has the green light 100 percent of the time in his new role with the Houston Rockets, although this possession midway through the fourth quarter during a tight game with the Cavaliers probably wasn’t what his coaching staff had in mind when gifting him with that responsibility.
Harden receives the ball with about 13 seconds left on the shot clock, with his team clinging to a three-point lead and Dion Waiters defending. He initiates the drive, before being cut off by Waiters, whose expert defensive effort here should not go unnoticed.
Harden retreats, and too much dribbling becomes problematic, as the ball gets away from him and nearly rolls out of bounds. Harden not only saves it, but manages to get around Waiters and launch an awkward 30-foot three-point attempt as the shot clock expires.
Of course, it goes down.
Harden finished with 29 points and seven steals in 38 minutes, and the Rockets got the 112-104 win over the Cavaliers.